Re: [gardeners] Tuesday in the garden

penny x stamm (
Wed, 3 May 2000 00:12:31 -0400

Ron, and the weatherman said at 2:00pm that we are 5 degrees
above normal right now.  I wonder if he is sober...?  

I don't respond well to heavy digging and lifting anymore -- what 
did that little girl sing, so many years ago...?  ...I'm past my prime
But yesterday I got mad, and you know how anger can be the most
powerful shot of protein for people, so on my way up to our best
nursery with 2 dead azaleas and a rhodie for a conference, I 
stopped the car in the driveway, and dug out 3 massive azaleas. 
I managed to get the car full of as much as it would hold, and
left the rest in the driveway.  Bottom line on the azaleas:  with as
many shrubs as I happen to have, I MUST understand that there will
be occasional - or even annual - failures. My hubby cannot accept
that. This seems to be a case of winter-kill, since our weather in
Southern Westchester County suffered many series of giant
temperature drops and rises, and we see sudden dead shrubs
up and down the street, all over here. Very sad -- why is it that
ONE bush in an embankment of 12 must die?  Obviously it is
impossible to replace it at its original size . . .  The suggestion was
made that I use the anti-dessicant spray in the fall (and again in
February, if there is no snow), to help the plants thru the winter. 
Snow cover is good, you know -- very stable, very protective. Lack
of snow is the problem. 

I stopped at the dump on my way home, and the young man behind 
the window took one look at this white haired character with a car 
loaded to the brim with dead bushes, and came rushing outside,
presumably to assist me...  but I made the mistake of asking
nonchallantly, "Should I put them in the back of the garbage truck
over there, or should I just take them to the top of the hill..?" He
raised his eyebrows and called my bluff, told me to take them to the
top of the hill, and went back inside....  I managed.

Now tonight, here it is 10:00pm and we are just returning home, 
and the "special" garbage has to be brought up the driveway for
early morning pickup:  seven large garbage pails and four huge
dead azaleas.  I had four hours' sleep last night, set the alarm for
7:45am, swallowed some orange juice and raisin pumpernickle
toast, and then drove the 25 miles to Caramoor House Museum 
to escort 3 groups of 6th graders thru part of the museum, drove
back the 25 miles, grabbed Jimmie and drove out to New Jersey
to take his 89-y-o cousin out for dinner -- and as it turned out, 
I had no lunch, and the dinner was terrible so I left it. That's 
another 68 miles, of course. And here we stand in the darkness 
of our driveway, and Jimmie cannot pick up the azaleas. They
are just plain too heavy!  I tried, but also could not do it. But if
you realize that not only had I dug them out yesterday, but also I 
had carried them out over the tops of the good azaleas, about 
15 feet, before dropping them in the driveway -- it does show
very clearly what anger can do.  In the end we both grabbed
and dragged them up the incline, but it was a tough job. 

Tomorrow morning I hope to snag Jimmie to come help me dig out
the stump and trunk of the 3-y-o dead dogwood.  He refuses to let
me hire help, because he wants the thrill of accomplishment. OK,
James, vaya con migo. Let's see some progress here!

Penny, NY zone 6

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